Overcalls and Advances - New Project

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Overcalls and Advances

So far we have considered bidding situations where only the opener and the responder are bidding.  In the real bridge world, that is not always the case.  Ofent you may be prepared to make a bid, but an opponent will open the bidding ahead of you.  When this happens you have two choices.  You and pass and stay out of the bidding or you can make a bid and compete for the contract.  When you get into the bidding after an opponent has opened the bidding, you bid is termed an overcall.  If the overcaller’s patner makes a bid, that bid is called an advance.  

We overcall because:
·       We want to compete for a partscore.
·       You want to interfere with the opponents bidding sequence.
·       An overcall can help the partnership guide the defense, if the opponents set the contract.

The dangers of overcalling are:
·       By overcalling you give information about your hand to the declarer, when the opponents set the contract.
·       An overcall might get doubled and lose more points than the opponents could make if you let them establish the contract.

The guidelines for making an overcall are:
·       A good 5-card suit.
·       Quality of the suit is important.
·       Overcall with:    
a)    K Q 109 7
b)    A J 10 7 3
c)    Q J 10 9 5

·       Not good enough for an overcall
a)    A 9 8 3 2
b)    Q 7 4 3 2

·       7 to 17 points at the one-level.
·       10 (or 11) to 17 points at the two-level.  With 10 or 11 points, suit texture is important.  

Advancing the overcall
·       Advancer’s priority is to support partner when possible.
·       Guidelines for supporting partner’s 1-level overcall, with 6-9 points
a)    3-card support – Raise to the two-level.
b)    4-card support – Raise to the three-level.
c)    5-card support- Raise to game-level.

·       Guidelines for advancing a 2-level overcall, with 6-9 points
a)    3-card support, raise one level.
b)    4-card support, raise two levels.  

Advancing an overcall with support and 10+ points.
·       Cue bid the opponent’s suit.

Opener         Overcaller              Responder          Advancer
1                1                         pass                      2

The advancer bid is a cue bid of the opponent’s suit:
·       Show’s 10+ points
·       At least 3-card support for the overcaller’s spades.
·       The cue bid is, of course, forcing on the overcaller.
·       South’s hand might look something like this:
 A     4        K         J
 J      2        Q        6   
 8                9         5
              3         2

·       With a cue bid, the advancer is suggesting that game may be possible.

The advancer’s second choice is to advance in a new suit. Guidelines for advancing in a new suit:
·       No more than two cards in the overcaller’s suit.
·       A good 5-card, or longer, suit.
·       6+ points at the 2-level.
·       10+ points at the 2-level.

The advancer’s third choice no trump. Guidelines for advancing in no trump:
·       Solid control of the opener’s suit.
·       No more than two cards in the overcallers suit.
·       6-10 points at the 1-level
·       11-12 poionts at the 2-level.
·       With 13 or more points, start with a cue bid then bid no trump.

The advancer does not have to bid.  If partner overcalls, and your hand does not qualify for an advance, your bid is pass.
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